Trisselwand - the IVth

Wed 25 Jul 2007

Niall felt it was time to attempt the trisselwand again, 15 years after the last disastrous attempt. Wookey 'Volunteered' as a previous incumbent, and Andrew was mugged into coming too. Packed in advance with trepidation and got up by 6am to omelette already made by Andrew. Hiked in to bottom from Sattel to start by 9am. To find the start go down a bit (30m?) after the heli-landing zone open area & just follow obvious path. We went off up wrong scree slope & wasted half an hour faffing. First couple of hundred metres is just scrambling up path to start.

We decided to do 'Hoferweg' route (5) as it is in guidebook with topo. Previous trips have done the easier 'Stügerweg' route (3-4+). Wook led 1st couple of pitches, getting a bit lost on 2nd. Then Andrew took over for the next couple of pitches back into the gulley. We whizzed up there, mostly moving together. Chilly in the shade. Had lunch at 1pm above pitch 8. We were overtaken by 3 groups further down - 2 heading up 'seeblick' sport route & one pair going our way. They had no gear beyond extenders - using body belay or italian hitch for belay!, but were clearly mch better climbers than us. Soon we were at the headwall where there really is a bench fixed in place to look at view from.

Next bit was obviously hard so we send niall first. Turned into proper climbing at this point. 1st pitch (#12, 4-) OK, Next really quite tricky - a fine lead. System we used was 2 half-ropes, leader had no sack, both seconds carried rucksacks, on easy pitches both seconds moved together. Pitch 14 was nasty-looking overhang - not as bad as it looked but still scary & with desperate slab back into gulley, not designed for short-arses (drop onto tiny ledge from one handhold. wobbly piton for pro). more gulley & a couple of slabs, now quite hot after 3½ hours in the sun. Andrew suffering from sun but saved by cave at stance for pitch 18.

Now quite strung out with 2 hard pitches right at the top; tired, hot. Having the hard stuff at the end like this is really rather unhelpful. 2 more fine leads from Niall - bloody good job we brought him along! nasty move out from cave, and marvellously exposed climb round overhang looking right down 800m to lake, finally gets you off horrible cliff to marvellous views that you could have had by walking up.

very tedious 1&quarter;hrs trog back down to well-earned beer. Niall liked the hard bits on good rock (& really didn't like the chossy pitches). Wook and Andrew hated those and liked the easy bits on shitty rock. Finished at 6:10pm.

9hrs on the rock. ~13hrs total trip.

Not epic, but bloody hard work & quite scary;